Phone addiction high among youngsters: poll

INSEPARABLE::More than half of college students in a survey said they used their cellphones in class to surf the Internet, while 30 percent used them to play games

By Chen Yi-ching, Rachel Lin and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Fri, May 24, 2013 - Page 3

Young people are getting increasingly addicted to cellphones, with 70 percent of respondents in a survey saying they use their mobile devices before sleep, and 65 percent saying they get anxious when their phones’ battery runs out or if they leave their phones at home.

The survey, which polled 1,800 students aged 11 to 22 and 1,400 parents last month, found that 80 percent of the young adults own a cellphone.

About 52 percent of respondents who identified themselves as college students said they use their smarthones to surf the Internet during class, the survey by the King Car Education Foundation found, while 30 percent of them used the devices to play games.

“It is apparent that Taiwanese teenagers have been kidnapped by their cellphones,” foundation secretary-general Tseng Ching-yun (曾清芸) said.

Lin Tzu-chen (林子宸), a sophomore at Chinese Culture University in Taipei, said that the only time his hands are not on his smartphone is when he is asleep.

A Taipei parent surnamed Yang (楊) said she got furious when her daughter once racked up a phone bill of more than NT$10,000.

Another survey by an online auction site created by PC Home Online and EBay Inc found that most smartphone users purchase a new device every one to two years, while about 40 percent of respondents aged 18 and below said they replace their smartphone every year.

The survey also showed that about 8.5 in 10 users of Ruten.com own a smartphone, reflecting reports of sharp increases in demand for the mobile device.

According to the results of the online auction site’s first survey on cellphone owner’s consumption behavior, up to 86 percent of its users own a smartphone.

Among them, 40 percent of respondents use a Samsung Electronics device, 37 percent own a smartphone from Taiwan’s HTC Corp and 26 percent use a device by Japan’s Sony Corp, the survey showed.

Online auction sites appear to be among the top three sales channels for mobile phones, as evidenced by Ruten’s monthly sales turnover for mobile devices, which has quadrupled to more than NT$300 million (US$10 million) in the past year.

In addition, the site said it has seen a 2.2-fold jump in the number of mobile phone consumers in the same period and currently markets about 1 million mobile devices and communication equipment to cater to growing consumer demand.

The rising demand for smartphones has also boosted sales of peripheral products on the auction site, which sold 200,000 portable power chargers and protective cases between January and last month alone, it added.